Ask anyone who knows me even just a bit, and they will readily share how stunningly gps challenged I am.
Maps are a foreign language to me. I can look at a map and see the numerous intersecting lines. I can see the words in bold font. I wish I could read the minuscule writing but it’s a stretch for these old-ish eyes. I can tell the difference between a body of water and solid ground. What I struggle with is connecting these pieces of information in a way that makes sense.
Ask me to show you where ‘north’ is, and I will point my finger toward the sun.
Before gps units were available, I would reach out to my father for directions. A master of maps, charts and meticulously detailed instructions, my father would calmly sift through his collection of maps while I waited on the other end of the phone for him to tell me where to go. I scribbled while he spoke, trying to capture each route number, each gem. These notes were my lifeline to getting to where I needed to go.
Life today is different. If you have a phone, you can download an app which will tell you where to go, when to leave, and which route will take you there in the least amount of time. It gives us advance warning of obstacles, accidents, traffic delays, construction and police officer sightings. So much information to guide us.
What I’m wondering is where to look for directions when our soul is longing to travel to a new destination. When we feel lost inside and are unsure of our path in life, how do we find our way? How will we know that the route we’ve chosen will lead us in the right direction if we don’t yet know who we want to be when we grow up?
I distinctly remember the panic I used to feel when I needed to get from point A to point B, and that awkwardly large, unfolded creased paper filled with lines only added to my confusion instead of providing a solution.
Here’s the thing…
I did find my way, I just had to use something other than a map to get to where I was going. I reached out to someone I knew could and would help me.
Finding our way in life is exactly the same. If we don’t know where we’re going, we have to have faith that we will know who to ask for support and advice. We have to be willing to admit we can’t yet read the map. We have to be able to communicate that all we’re looking for right now are easy to understand directions, and not the ‘how-to’ guide to map reading. We have to be ready to listen to the information we’re receiving, and to be grateful for the person taking time out of their day to sketch possible ways we can start to move forward.
One day, I know I will awake and discover that I can read a map.
I just need to believe in myself enough to try.